The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 25, 2013

Area organizations receive state tourism awards

WATERLOO — Three southern Iowa organizations have been honored for what they're doing to bring more people into their communities.

At the 2013 Iowa Tourism Conference last week in Waterloo, 20 awards were given to recognize excellence in both metro and rural parts of the tourism industry. The Fairfield Convention and Visitors Bureau received an award for outstanding social media, the Villages of Van Buren were given the Outstanding Promotion Material award and The American Gothic House Center in Eldon received the Outstanding Tourism Experience award.

Fairfield Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fairfield's new app, designed by Appsolootly, a Fairfield-based mobile marketing company, gives visitors and residents alike the inside scoop on what's happening in the community. The bureau's executive director, Rustin Lippincott, says the organization has prided itself on being on the cutting edge, using technology for marketing and promoting the town's events.

"At the end of the day, it's an honor that our efforts are being recognized as industry-best practices," Lippincott said.

Released in May, the app was also useful during RAGBRAI's visit, helping riders find needed Fairfield information. Downloadable from both the iPhone and Android platforms, the app also includes an updated listing of local events with links for ticket purchases, making it a versatile and well-rounded resource in the community.

Appsolootly has done several apps for Fairfield and the surrounding community, including Parks and Recreation and local cafés and restaurants. Owner Dick DeAngelis says the tourism app has been popular with both visitors to the area and the residents who live there.

"It's been useful for local residents because we can direct them to the app for everything they need to know about what's happening," he explained. "It has lots of flexibility on a state-of-the-art platform. An app done right will help build a community."

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